Saint John Paul II wrote a Letter here Artists in 1999. Here are 7 quotes from John Paul II as he explains why artists are so necessary… and how the artist draws closer to God through the creative process.
First of all,
“The purpose of art is nothing less than the upliftment of the human spirit.”
We are called to use our gifts to build each other up… and to grow, ourselves.
We have an incredibly high calling, because we follow God’s example of creativity:
“The opening page of the Bible presents God as a kind of exemplar of everyone who produces a work: the human craftsman mirrors the image of God as Creator.”
When we create, we follow God’s example of creativity. Just think on that for a minute: God intentionally made us creative beings:
“With loving regard, the divine Artist passes on to the human artist a spark of his own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in his creative power.”
As we share in God’s calling to create, we express ourselves in an intensely personal way:
“In producing a work, artists express themselves to the point where their work becomes a unique disclosure of their own being, of what they are and of how they are what they are.”
Through that personal expression, the artist both expresses himself and learns more about himself:
“For [the artist] art offers both a new dimension and an exceptional mode of expression for his spiritual growth. Through his works, the artist speaks to others and communicates with them.”
Thus, we’ve come full circle: God creates, calling us to create, and when we create, we grow personally and spiritually… and then share ourselves and our works with the world.
And in case you think that none of this applies to you, just remember this:
“Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.”
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I decided to draw a *sketch* of John Paul II. Let it be known that this really is just a sketch, and I’m quite a bit out of practice.
Finally, a blessing to send you on your way:
“Artists of the world, may your many different paths all lead to that infinite Ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy.”
Which quote speaks most to you? Where do you find God in the creative process?